easy crochet lion

Luki the Lion: Easy Crochet Lion Free Pattern

It has been nearly two years since we added anything to our Juna Series of easy crochet animals but we think Lukie the crochet lion is definitely worth the wait! If ever we asked people what they wanted to see next for the Juna Series, a lion was always one of the top contenders – because how can we have a series without the king of the jungle? But figuring out how to do the mane for the lion was always something that threw us for a loop. We thought about latching on hair (as we have done for our adorable small crochet lion!) but since this is a series for beginners, we worried that having to attach hair would be too overwhelming for beginners.

Finally, it came to us – a sewn-on cartoonish lion mane. And we just love it! It has total sunflower vibes which I love! It does require a bit of sewing but I think it’s worth it. He’s such a happy little guy!

super easy crochet lion

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Easy Crochet Lion Free Pattern

This pattern is for your personal use only and cannot be sold, copied, or reproduced in any way without permission from the designers. You may sell finished objects made from this pattern in small quantities but please give credit to chaicoffeecrochet.com as the pattern designer.

Tools and Supplies You Need to Crochet this Lion

  • Yarn:  Less than 50 grams of DK yarn in the body colour, pants colour, and the mane colour. A small amount of yarn for the muzzle.
  • 2.75mm crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch marker
  • Polyfill stuffing
  • Two 10 mm safety eyes
  • Embroidery thread in black for the nose and eyebrows

Crochet Lion: Stitches & Abbreviations Used

This pattern is written in US terms and crocheted in a spiral unless stated otherwise.

Sl st: slip stitch

Ch: Chain

SC: single crochet

INVDEC: invisible decrease

INC: two SC in the same stitch

BLO: back loops only

Easy Crochet Lion: Pattern notes

  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Finished size: Approximately 8 inches tall, using DK yarn. However, the sizing of your lion will vary based on the yarn you use.
  • This pattern is written in US terms.
  • This pattern is crocheted in continuous rounds unless specified otherwise. Use a stitch marker on the first stitch of every round so that you don’t lose track of the start of your round.
  • This pattern gives you an option to crochet in the arms. If you would like to do so, you must crochet the arms first and follow the steps outlined.
  • This lion was made using DK yarn. However, you may use any yarn with the relevant hook (usually, for amigurumi you go down 2-3 sizes from that recommended on the yarn label).
  • This lion is part of the Juna Series of easy crochet animals (you can see some of the other animals below). You can find the free patterns at https://chaicoffeecrochet.com
easy crochet animals

How to Crochet an Easy Lion


Using the muzzle colour

Round 1: Ch 6. Starting in the second chain from the hook, 4 SC, 3 SC in the next chain as your work turns. Now continue on the other side of the chain. 3 SC and INC in the last chain (12)

Round 2: INC, 3 SC, (INC) in each of the next three stitches, 3 SC, (INC) in each of the next two stitches (18)

Round 3-4 (2 rounds): SC around (18)

Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Arms (make 2)

Using the body colour
Round 1:
6 SC into a magic circle (6)

Round 2: INC in each stitch around (12)

Round 3: (5 SC, INC) twice (14)

Round 4-5 (2 rounds): SC around (14)

Round 6: (5 SC, INVDEC) twice (12)

Stuff the bottom of the arms lightly.

Round 7: (4 SC, INVDEC) twice (10)

Round 8-16 (9 rounds): SC around (10)

Do not stuff the rest of the arm.

If you want to crochet (instead of sew) on the arms of your lion, pinch the two ends of the arm together, chain one, and single crochet through both sides to close the arm. Weave in the ends. (See our tutorial for how to crochet arms for amigurumi.)

If you prefer to sew on the arms, fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Legs (make 2)

Stuff legs lightly as you go.

Using the body colour

Round 1: 6 SC into a magic circle (6)

Round 2: INC in each stitch around (12)

Round 3: (SC, INC) six times (18)

Round 4: (2 SC, INC) six times (24)

Change to pant colour

Round 5-6 (2 rounds): SC in BLO around (24)

Round 7-12 (6 rounds): SC around (24) 

Fasten off for the first leg. Leave a long tail for sewing to sew the hole between the legs when joining.

Repeat rounds 1-12 for the second leg but don’t fasten off.


Now we will join the legs

Round 13: Sl st into the first unworked stitch of the first leg. SC in the remaining 23 stitches of the first leg and the 24 stitches of the second leg. (48) 

Use the yarn tail from the first leg to sew closed any hole remaining between the legs.

Round 14-19 (6 rounds): SC around (48)

Change to the body colour

Round 20: SC around in BLO (48)

Rounds 21-41 (21 rounds)*: SC around (48) 

*If you want to crochet your arms in, crochet them on during Round 29, on each side of the body. To attach the arms, crochet through both the body and the arm. (See the tutorial on how to crochet in the arms.)

crochet lion body

At this point, stuff the muzzle and sew it on between rounds 31 and 37. Insert the eyes between rounds 36 and 37, 11 stitches apart, centered to the muzzle. Stuff the body.

Round 42: (6 SC, INVDEC) six times (42)

Round 43: (5 SC, INVDEC) six times (36)

Round 44: (4 SC, INVDEC) six times (30)

Round 45: (3 SC, INVDEC) six times (24)

Round 46: (2 SC, INVDEC) six times (18)

Round 47: (SC, INVDEC) six times (12)

Ensure that the body is stuffed firmly.

Round 48: INVDEC six times (6)

Fasten off. Insert needle in front loop of each stitch and pull tight to close.

Embroider on the nose, mouth, and eyebrows. If you prefer to sew on the arms, sew them on between Rounds 28 and 29.

Mane (make 7)

crochet lion mane

Using the mane colour

Round 1: 6 SC into a magic circle (6)

Round 2: (SC, INC) three times (9)

Round 3: (2 SC, INC) three times (12)

Round 4: (3 SC, INC) three times (15)

Round 5: (4 SC, INC) three times (18)

Round 6: (5 SC, INC) three times (21)

Round 7: SC around (21)

Round 8: (5 SC, INV DEC) three times (18)

Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Sew each piece closed to make it easier to sew onto your lion.

How to Assemble the Lion’s Mane

Once you have made all 7 parts of the mane, pin them onto the head of your lion. It’s important to pin them in place to ensure that you have them spaced out as you would like them. Start by pinning the two on the top of the head on either side and work your way around. Ensure that one piece of the mane is centered under the muzzle Once you are satisfied with the placement, sew them in place.

Tip: Put one stitch to connect each piece of the mane with the one next to it so that you don’t have any gaps.

Ears (make 2)

Round 1: 6 SC into a magic circle (6)

Round 2: INC in each stitch around (12)

Round 3-4 (2 rounds): SC around (12)

Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Sew the ears onto your lion in front of the mane, between Rounds 5 – 10 from the top of the head.


Use the body colour

Row 1: Chain 12

Row 2: Starting from the second chain from the hook, 11 SC

Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Sew the tail just above the pants at the centre of the back of your lion.

Cut three strands of yarn approximately 3 inches in length. Fold them in half and latch them through the end of the tail and cut them so they are approximately a quarter inch each.

Your adorable lion is now ready!

easy crochet lion with a sunflower man and purple pants

What are some other safari crochet animals?

If you are looking for decor for a baby nursery, you could pair your crocheted lion with Gifa the Giraffe, Elzo the Elephant, Mika the Monkey, Hattie the Hippo, Cray the Crocodile, and Ziggy the Zebra, for an adorable crochet safari animal collection.

How long does it take to crochet this easy lion?

The time it will take you to crochet this lion really depends on your personal speed. On average, for an experienced crocheter, this pattern should take five to six hours to crochet, if crocheted continuously.

How do you crochet a small lion?

If you would like to crochet a small lion, check out our small crochet lion from our Kozu Palm Pets series of small animals. If you would prefer to make this pattern smaller, you just need to use a thinner yarn with the relevant hook and the size will decrease depending on the thickness of the yarn.

How to do I make this lion larger?

If you would like this lion to be larger, try using a thicker yarn. A super bulky yarn should give you a lion that is approximately 3 times the size! If you try it, do share a photo with us!

How do I make a stranded mane for this lion?

If you prefer to have a a stranded mane for your lion, you can latch on strands for the mane. You will cut stands to be approximately 6 inches tall and then latch them on. See our small lion pattern for instructions on how to latch the mane.

Is it easy to crochet a lion?

Yes this lion is easy to crochet. It uses very basic stitches and techniques for amigurumi. The trickiest part is sewing on the mane (pins are your bestfriends for this!). If you want a really super simple amigurumi project for an absoluate beginner, you may want to begin with our Flippy the Frog pattern.